Category: Design

Celebrating The Color Run 2012 in Nashville

Trending colours for summer web design projects

If you’re planning to revamp your website with us this summer – or perhaps are about to commence work on your first ever business website – then why not consider adding a totally on trend new shade to your design? Picking a trending colour can give your new site a contemporary, modern appeal. A pop of colour can work wonders to inject new life into a design, even if you’re only making minor cosmetic changes so read on to find out what this summer’s hottest shades are set to be…

Coral pink

The popularity of coral pink isn’t likely to be constrained to summer as it is the official PANTONE colour of the year for 2019. According to the hue heroes at PANTONE, this colour (Living Coral to give it its official title) is said to “energize and enliven”. It’s described as optimistic and joyful, is nurturing, represents modern life and nature, linking closely to the coral reef. Thanks to its many qualities, this is an on-trend selection for a range of industries and can pair well with other shades to create a website design that is fresh, inviting and welcoming.

Blueberry

This deep, purple-hued blue is also very much on trend for summer but unlike its Living Coral counterpart, has more corporate echoes making it a great choice for a whole host of website designs. The deep blue also pairs well with lots of lighter shades, so you can play around to create an eye-catching contrast. A crisp white is a classic choice but, if you want a bold website, you could pair it with pops of lime green, used as an accent for things like buttons, headers or menu items.

Ancient Grain

This colour, as its name suggests, is the colour of golden wheat. It’s more neutral and muted that Coral Pink but not quite as bold as Blueberry either. Because of this, it’s a perfect partner to brighter, zestier shades and can be put to work on a very elegant, classic web design that won’t quickly appear dated.

Violet

This luscious purple shade has been around in trending circles for a while and is a previous PANTONE colour of the year. It’s rich and luxurious and lends itself to a whole host of sectors, from fitness to fashion or food. This colour is also a great choice for any design or branding project as it can be paired with a wide selection of other shades including orange, white, blue or magenta.

Which colour will you incorporate into your new site design?

Read More

1 Pro and 8 Cons of Free Websites

The word “free” is a powerful word. It’s also one of the most beguiling words. That’s understandable, considering money doesn’t fall from trees. So what about free websites? You can have a website up and running without paying a cent. But before succumbing to the seduction of the $0 price tag, be aware that free can also mean “free of quality.” So before you make a choice, take a look at the good and the bad that free websites offer.

Cons

1. Lack of Professionalism

To influence visitors, you must gain their trust. And people will trust you if you look professional. But a free website won’t help you with this. For one thing, your site will likely be littered with ads, which free web hosts use to earn money. Ads range in size and appearance, but they have two things in common: they annoy visitors and they make your website look unprofessional.

Then there’s the domain name. With a free website, you won’t get one. Your website’s address will be combined with the host’s address. So instead of something like, “best-antique-gold.com,” you’ll get “web-host-provider.com/best-antique-gold.” Which looks more professional?

2. Substandard Web Design

Ads will clash with the rest of your website. You can pretty things up with vivid images and colors, but the ads will still be there, mocking you. And as for your site’s layout, your options are limited. There aren’t many templates available for free websites.

3. Same Old, Same Old

All free websites look the same. This isn’t 100% true, but to your visitors, it might not matter. Many people share a host and there’s only so much you can do to make your site distinguishing. A free website probably won’t offer things like shopping carts and email boxes. And there won’t be many template options.

4. Insufficient Web Space

Web space costs money, so don’t expect much space. This means your website won’t have much room to grow. This might be fine when you’re first getting everything running, but soon you may find yourself with a big list of website goals and not enough web space to achieve them.

5. Limited Bandwidth

Bandwidth, like web space, isn’t free. And since your site won’t be the only free website sharing a host, bandwidth will be distributed to many. Naturally, your bandwidth will be limited. What this means for your website is slow loading times. And in this age of fast Internet speeds, a visitor may not have the patience to wait for your site to slowly load. He’ll likely press the back button.

6. Bad SEO

Websites depend on search engine rankings to reel in visitors, but a free website has little chance of ranking high. For one thing, search engines punish sites for slow speeds. Also, a website’s domain name is vastly important to the search engines, and if your website doesn’t have one of its own, your site will suffer.

7. Deletion by Web Host

A web host could drop your free website at anytime. Maybe because of spam. Or RAM overuse. And many people who’ve lost their free websites claim the accusations against them simply weren’t true. Some people may never find out why their site was purged.

8. Web Host is Shut Down

Free website hosting isn’t a lucrative occupation and sometimes the money gained from ads is just not enough. A host might be forced to shut the doors. And just like that, the website you’ve poured your heart and soul into goes kaput.

Pro

1. It’s Free

If you’re new to web design, a free website might be right for you. You’ll have an easy way to practice web design skills and it won’t cost you a cent. Free websites are also great for personal use. Maybe a fan page for your favorite band, or a place to host some stories you’ve written.

Free websites are certainly enticing, but before you get one, ask yourself, “How important is this website to me?” Because though a free website gives you a nice money-saving advantage, it also gives you far more disadvantages. So if you’re serious about your website and you value high quality, resist the temptation of free websites and spend some money on something far better.

Read More

Branding in the 21st Century – 5 Essential Qualities of a Memorable Logo

Starting a new business takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention a huge outlay of resources and capital. If you have a great idea for a new business, you have a lot of decisions to make, from where your headquarters should be located to which marketing strategies you will employ.

You also need to think about how to best build your brand, and a key part of that is designing a memorable logo. Creating a great logo is not as easy as you might think, and you may not get a second chance to design one. Once your company has been associated with a particular logo, making a change can be extremely difficult, so it is vital that you get it right the first time. Here are five essential qualities that must be part of your new company logo.

#1. Distinctiveness

There are many reasons why your company logo must be totally distinctive. For one thing, making your logo too similar to an existing one could land you in legal hot water. Even if the resemblance is unintentional, you could be held legally liable for damages down the line, and that could stop your new startup in its tracks.

Making your logo too similar to another could also confuse viewers and dilute the value of your brand. No matter what design you are considering, you need to make sure the finished logo is completely distinct and entirely your own.

#2. Appropriateness

The logo you choose to represent your brand should be appropriate to your market niche. From the image you choose to the font you use, every element of the logo should be appropriate to your line of business, silently telling the story of your company and how it relates to the potential buyer.

The owner of a tech company might choose a font that appears to be computer-generated, while a publishing firm may prefer a font that mimics handwriting. The goal is to create an association in the mind of the viewer – a link between the logo itself and the company it represents.

#3. Simplicity

Making your logo too complicated could backfire badly, and simplicity is generally the best approach. Think about the logos you know best, from the familiar golden arches of McDonalds to the CBS eye to the plain blue and white IBM logo. Those logos all have one thing in common – they are very simple, clean and elegant.

It can be tempting to try to force too much into your company logo, but the simplest approach is generally the best. A clean design that tells a simple story is more likely to succeed than a busy branding icon that will do little more than confuse the viewer.

#4. Timeless

If you play your cards right, your new company will still be around many years or even decades from now. That is why it is so important that your new logo has a timeless appeal.

You should steer clear of current trends and stick to the tried-and-true when designing your logo. From the image to the font to the color, the design of your logo should be simple, memorable and timeless.

#5. Memorable

Your logo should create an instant impression on everyone who sees it. The more memorable your logo, the more effective it should be, so think carefully about the design.

Again, think about the most effective logos you know, from the classic Chevrolet bowtie to the iconic Nike swoosh to the unmistakable NBC peacock. The one thing all those logos have in common is that you would never mistake them for something else.

Your logo will play a central role in your entire branding strategy, and choosing the wrong one could doom your entire enterprise to failure. Understanding the qualities that make great logos great is one of the smartest uses of your time, and that research can help you design a logo viewers will remember.

Read More